‘Just beautiful, isn’t it?’: What to know about Hamilton’s two newest wall murals

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Yvette Ngale likes the BTW Center?€™s New Artwork

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Painters have finished their work on two of the three new Hamilton StreetSpark murals being created, while painting continues on the third.

A large mural on the side of Minnick’s Drive Thru on Pleasant Avenue tells viewers they’re in Lindenwald.

“That mural is just beautiful, isn’t it?” said Ralph Minnick, who owns the company with his son, Fred Minnick, and has 12 stores, including nine in Hamilton, two in Fairfield and one in New Miami.

“The whole concept, the mural, and what Hamilton’s doing is unbelievable,” he said. “It certainly builds the pride that was lost for a decade or so in Hamilton.”

He’s thinking of buying his employees shirts or something else with the mural design on them. His workers say they’ve been getting compliments about the brightly colored artwork.

“Everybody says it looks nice and they’re complimenting it,” said store manager Chelsea Reavis. “It’s colorful.”

“They say it’s good for the neighborhood,” added Jim McKeown, operations manager for most of the stores.

A few blocks north, at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, Yvette Ngale was very impressed with the mural that now decorates the front of her workplace.

It’s “bringing a little more sunshine in the city of Hamilton, bringing more joy in the city of Hamilton,” she said. “And I love the fact that we have those two kids” in the mural, “representing what we do here in the community center.”

Dedications of the murals will happen in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, artists are continuing to work on the mural called “Incrementum” being painted on the eastern exterior wall of the Max Stacey Flowers building, facing the intersection of High Street with Martin Luther King Boulevard.

That mural features an image of the statue, Hebe, Nymph of Brooks and Streams, which was struck by a car in October and at first was believed to have been destroyed. It recently was restored by an Alabama company and returned to a small park in front of the mural, with the mural's painters looking on as it was put back into place.

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The murals include:

• "Incrementum," is a salute to the statue, and was designed by artist Paul Loehle, a Badin High School graduate who now teaches art at Hamilton High School. Loehle also designed the popular Joe Nuxhall mural that was part of StreetSpark.

• "The Flowing Pride of Lindenwald" was created by Dave Rickerd, a local muralist and graphic designer. "It has all of the sort-of iconic Lindenwald buildings," said Jennifer Acus-Smith of StreetSpark. "Maybe some of them aren't there anymore. They're places that people who grew up in Lindenwald will know and remember."

• "Inspiring the Future" was designed by Jamie Schorsch, a Cincinnati artist who teaches art at Oak Hills High School. Acus-Smith said the committee that chose the winning designs liked that the mural "really focused on the youth, the kids who are using that center and are the future."

The winning selections were chosen from among 44 designs submitted by 30 artists. The selection committee was made up of arts professionals. Goals of StreetSpark include beautifying the city and also highlighting Hamilton’s artistic leanings.

StreetSpark is a partnership between the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, the city of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation. In recent years it has been energizing Hamilton’s downtown, but this year spread out to the Lindenwald and Second Ward (Riverside) neighborhoods.

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